Monday, April 22, 2013

Martin Brodeur - NHL Legend: My Exclusive Interview

I spoke with New Jersey Devils' goaltender Martin Brodeur after his team defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0 on April 18, 2013. 

Brodeur won his first National Hockey League game on March 26, 1992, when the Devils defeated the Boston Bruins 4-2. He initially wore number 29, before switching to his trademark number 30. During the past two-plus decades this 1990 first round draft choice (twentieth overall) recorded 121 shutouts, scored three goals, reached numerous other high marks and has redefined the art of goaltending. 

I've learned through the years that individuals who achieve and then maintain greatness in any field share common character traits. With that subjective point in mind, it was reaffirming to hear what this high-achiever had to say. 


Brodeur replied to my question about the elements that create a shutout in very telling form:

“It's a team game. That's the bottom line. If you don't have a team that's committed to play a certain way in front of you, you're not getting shutouts. You can't do it by yourself.

“Once in awhile you can stand on your head. But, I think when you get a bulk of as many as I've gotten through the years, it's the commitment of the team.

“When it's 3-0, it's easy to try to get the fourth goal, or to win 3-1. Who cares? 

"But, when you take pride and people want your goalie to have them (shutouts), it's a big difference,” Brodeur said.

The affable legend is set to turn 41 on May 6. As he plays out the final games on his current contract (that runs through 2013-14), this 20-season veteran has the clearest understanding of what the Devils-Flyers' rivalry means.

“Oh yes, it's great. We have a couple teams, especially in the area because there are so many teams around. I'm sure the Flyers will tell you the same.

“The Rangers-Flyers and a little bit of the Islanders. I'm sure it's going to grow in the next few years because they (the Islanders) are getting better and better.

“But, for us to come into this building, it's always a fun game,” Brodeur said.

Digital hockey card

Clicking on the back of this veteran's digital hockey card reveals that he ranks first in NHL history in the following categories:

Games played (1,217). Patrick Roy is second (1,029).
Minutes played (71,609). Roy is second (60,235).
Wins (667). Roy is second (551).
Shots against (30,513). Roy is second (28,353).
Saves (27,853). Roy is second (25,807).
Shutouts (121). Terry Sawchuk is second (103).
Playoff shutouts (24). Roy is second (23).

Someone who won the Calder Cup, five Jennings trophies, four Vezina trophies, three Stanley Cups, has a .913 career save percentage and a 2.23 career GAA will obviously be inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

Any reasonable debate about the greatest goaltenders of all-time, using any criterion, should always include this Quebec native's name.

(Martin Brodeur photo credit - Sean O'Brien)

My next original 'Insight' post will contain: Behind the scenes details about this interview and information that freelance writers can use to succeed in their careers.
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